US military buildup in Baltic region began in January: Scott Rickard
A former American intelligence official says the United States started to boost its military presence in the Baltic region in January this year, showing that Washington knew then what was in store for Ukraine.
Scott Rickard, an international peace activist and ex-US intelligence linguist in Florida, made the remarks in a telephone interview with Press TV on Sunday.
“Regarding the Americans sending more fighters to and also more military presence into the Baltic areas, unfortunately, this is actually another show of force that the Americans have done. This is actually pre-empted the move in January. So they had some anticipation of what were they doing because there were some moves in January whereby the Americans and NATO made the decision where the United States would assume control of all the airspace over these Baltic countries, including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in January this year,” Rickard said.
“So, you have the NATO alliance, the 28-nation bloc alliance, already posturing in January, preceding the activity in the Ukraine. No doubt they had already planned, maybe in junction with Tymoshenko being released from prison,” he stated, referring to the Western efforts which were underway in January to secure the release of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from custody. She was finally freed on February 22.
“So you have a really interesting situation here whereby they (the Americans) are saying they are moving more aircraft into Lithuania, six additional F-15s and refueling KC-135s into Lithuania. This is most definitely an aggressive move, and it really began in January,” he added.
“So there isn’t anything innocent about what the Americans are doing in the Ukraine. I find this extremely aggressive and extremely illegal when it comes to the corruption and the meddling the Americans have done throughout the Ukraine,” Rickard stated.
“No doubt that they (the Americans) are using their Africa, South America and Middle East strategies now on the Ukraine, and you have really another low point in American foreign policy that has unfortunately been going on since the 1850s,” Rickard noted.
This weekend, the USS Truxtun, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, crossed Turkey's Bosphorus Strait and entered the Black Sea.
The Pentagon has announced plans to deploy more US fighter jets to Baltic countries located near Ukraine. Six F-15C Eagles and more than 60 American troops have arrived at Siauliai air base, Lithuania, while twelve F-16 fighter jets and 300 American troops are set to arrive in Poland.